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Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
July 16, 2009     Tri-County News
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July 16, 2009

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.lll Thursday, July 16, 2009 alL1LlOd_ Sports &amp; Lei Tri-County News * Kimball, MN . 1, v ' i@N::N .'::'*: " .... ..::--,,----__ rl ....... ........ Carl F. floffman U of MExtension horticulturist ....... We can bring our plants through another drought Fluctuating temperatures, per- sistent winds and lower than nor- mal rainfall during May and June, and what appears to be following us into July, is beginning to take its toll on our landscape plants. This is actually our fourth sea- son of lower-than-normal rainfall, and lawns, trees, shrubs and peren- nials that have not received reg- ular watering are showing symp- toms of drought stress including reduced growth, yellowing, wilt, loss of branches and leaves, or in severe cases whole plant death. Many trees and shrubs, partic- ularly those that are borderline hardy in this area, were injured or killed this past winter, due in part to drought stress during the past summers, which affected their ability to withstand the effects of a severe winter. Because of their shallow root SYstems and the larger numbers of plants in a small area, the effect of inadequate moisture is more immediately apparent on annual flowers, vegetable gardens, and container gardens. The obvious solution is to apply water, but we often have to deal with commu- nity watering restrictions, well limitations, or a desire to conserve water. Therefore, we must look for ways to minimize water use and still maintain healthy landscape and garden plants. We must begin by taking a look at our watering procedures. Fol- lowing are some recommended practices for keeping plants watered adequately while con- serving water. Water deeply and infrequently. Deep watering promotes the development of a deep, extensive root system while light watering keeps the roots near the surface. Deep-rooted plants will be able to reach moisture in the soil and will be better able to survive hot, dry weather. Lawns, vegetables and flower gardens should receive an inch of water per week. Veg- etables, annuals and perennials must be watered before they wilt because, if they are allowed to wilt only a few times, growth will be stunted resulting in reduced flow- ering and crop production. Newly planted trees and shrubs should Ask a Trooper About child car seats by Sgt. Kathy Pederson Minnesota StatePatto1 DearTrooper Kathy: Mychild is 5 years old and weighs 80 pounds. Is he exempt? Trooper Kathy Says: NO your child is not exempt. You are going to have to order him a special seat. There are medical supply com- panies that may be able to pro- vide these but they are going to be expensive. Another place you may wish to contact is your local Public Health Department. Dear Trooper Kathy; What's the law regarding booster seats? Trooper Kathy Says: Any child who is both under the age of 8 and under 4 feet 9 inches tall must be fastened in a child safety seat or booster seat. Dear Trooper Kathy: What are booster seats and how are they used? Trooper Kathy Says: Booster seats lift a child up allowing the lap belt to fit low and snug across the hins and the shoulder belt to fit be watered deeply every seven to 10 days during dry weather. When watering gardens and landscape plantings, soil condi- tions, along with the weather con- ditions, actually determine the amount and frequency of water- ing. For example, sandy soils will require more frequent water- ing than clay or loam soils. Daily checking of plants is more impor- tant than a watering schedule based on calculations and charts. Water efficiently. When using overhead sprinklers, water in the early morning. Cooler tempera- tures, reduced wind, and higher humidity in the morning reduce the amount of water lost to evap- oration. When watering is com- pleted, the plant foliage dries quickly, reducing the risk of foliar diseases that exists when plants are watered late in the day. Water- ing during the hot part of the day does not harm the plants, but is less efficient because of the amount of water that is lost to evaporation. However, if plants are under severe drought stress, water as soon as possible to minimize plant damage, regardless of the time of day. Soaker hoses and drip irriga- tion systems are more efficient and promote fewer disease problems than overhead sprinklers. Drip irrigation systems require an ini- tial investment of time and money but, once installed, are convenient and conserve water.  Mulch landsCape plantings and garden areas to conserve soil moisture. A blanket of mulch reduces the rate of evaporation, maintains a lower soil tempera- ture. and limits weed competition. Organic materials like dried grass clippings, clean straw, shredded leaves, or partially decomposed compost are good mulches for the vegetable garden. The same mate- rials can be used for annual flow- ers but. if you would like some- thing a little more attractive, try cocoa bean shells or rice hulls In addition to the above, pine needles and ground corncobs can be used around perennials that are seldom dug and divided. Wood- chips, shredded bark, or bark nug- gets will work well around trees and shrubs snug across the middle of the chest to provide the necessary protec- tion in a crash. Dear Trooper Kathy: Is this a primary stop? What are the con- sequences of not using a booster? Who pays the fine? Trooper Kathy Says: Not hav- ing a childin a booster chair is a primary stop. In other words, i f it looks to me like there is a child under age 8 and under 4'9", I may stop the driver and check the occupants. The fine per person not in a child restraint is $50 however, with local fees and surcharges the fees could total $100-$130. The driver may be cited for each individual not restrained. More importantly, a child that should be in a booster that is seated in a seat belt alone can suffer death or seri- ous injury in the event of a crash. Injuries associated with poor seat bek fit include ejection, internal decapitation and serious abdomi- nal damage. Dear Trooper Kathy: Should I use a high back or low back Plants in containers need spe- dal attention as both volume of soil and total water available for plant use is limited. Frequency and amount of water depend on the pot- ting mix; location, size and type of pot; size and type of plants; amount of exposure to sun and wind; and temperature. A pot that contains several plants, a pot-bound con- tainer, or a pot that contains a plant like a fuschia that demands a lot of water, may have to be watered daily or even more than once a day. Check for soil moisture by sticking your forefinger into the potting mixture. When it feels dry below the surface, begin water- ing. Do not allow the potting mix- ture to dry out completely as this will severely stress the plants and result in poor performance. When watering, water the plant thor- oughly, allowing water to drain out of the bottom of the pot. Be careful, however, not to keep the roots constantly wet as root rot and disease problems can result from waterlogged soil. Trees and shrubs should be watered just inside and outside of the dripline, or outer edge of the plant. In foundation or bor- der plantings, it may be more con- venient to water the entire area. Soaker hoses allow for slow per- colation of water into the root zone with minimum loss of water to evaporation. A quick rule of thumb is to water for one hour for each inch of diameter of the trunk of the tree. While newly planted trees should be watered when- ever the soil feels dry to the touch, established trees may need water- ing only once every three to.four weeks. Overwatering is one of the primary causes of failure in newly transplantedtrees. " ' " " Lawns are best watered by overhead sprinklers. In order to maintain a green, actively grow- ing lawn throughout the summer, it will have to receive an inch to an inch and one-half of water every 7-10 days either by rain fall or irri- gation. This is a general guideline as the frequency of watering will depend on the grass species, soil texture, exposure and intensity of use. Slight wilting, a color change from green to a more grayish or blue-green shade, or footprinting are indications that it is time to water. The most efficient time to water lawns is during the morning hours from about 4 to 8 a.m. If you can. tolerate some dryness and loss of green coIor in the lawn, a thor- ough soaking every 10 to 14 days will keep the lawn alive. Watering plants during drought conditions involves a delicate bal- ance between the desired appear- ance and health of the plants and the amount of water available for irrigation. Proper watering prac- tices ensures goodvegetableyields, booster? Trooper Kathy Says: Boosters without a back may only be used in vehicles with a headrest. High back boo'sters are effective as they offer a slot for you to thread the seat belt to properly position the seat belt across the chllffs chest. . Dear Trooper Kathy: Wlm ff my child is 9 years old, but only 4 "feet6nches tall (or shorter)? Under the law he/she would be able o be seated with just a seat belt. Troo]3er Kathy Says- By Minne- sota state law, they would not be reqtdred to be in a booster seat, however, the best safety practice would be to keep them in a booster until they reach 4 feet 9 inches tall. If you have any questions regarding traffic safety and/or traffic laws, please e-mail her at < kathy.pederso n @state. m n. us>. Sgt. Pederson will not offer advice on specific situations or real events, which involve law enforce- ment. Page 17 beautifully blooming flowers, a green lawn, and survival of trees and shrubs without using exces- sive volumes of water. Keeping landscape plants healthy at this time of drought will not only help appearance, but also help survive another Minnesota winter. Gavdge LLC North of / Photogra ptfy / . - / PHARMACY Fast, Friendly and Convenient. A Pharmacist You Can Trust. We've Got You Covered. 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